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Massage for Body Pain
Massage - The great all over healer for the body, mind and spiritUsing Gentle Massage Treatment For Pain Relief - Feel the benefits, come and try for yourself!
We all have pain from time to time. Sometimes it's temporary because of a fall or knock. Other times, it can be due to acute or chronic disease, illness or as a symptom of some other condition. The normal medical response to this is to prescribe increasing amounts of pain relief to control it.
Gentle massage has many benefits, one of which is to provide pain relief, but other benefits can include a reduction in inflammation and swelling, the toning down of sore or stiff muscles, tendons and ligaments, and the calming of an otherwise anxious mind.
What do you do when you bang your elbow or knee? Or take a knock to your leg, arm or head? Yes, that's right you rub it. Sometimes quite hard, but mostly, with a soft gentle rhythm. Why do you do that? Because mother nature has taught you that touching an injured part of the body can make it feel better. Touch is probably the single most powerful healing modality that our ancestral mind can remember.
Massage is a modality that harnesses the healing power of touch and delivers it in a therapeutic setting. There are many different forms of massage from a slow soothing massage, to an energetic and vigorous one. The choice is yours and will depend on your desired outcome. But as a rule of thumb, very soft and gentle for those with arthritis or fibromyalgia, softer again for those with chronic fatigue, but deep and strong for those with rugby, football, hockey or cycling in their blood. The point is, massage and gentle stretching of the muscles helps maintain range of motion for your limbs and joints, that little else can mimic.
Massage should be about providing you what you need to feel better, so it is worth planning in advance what you want to get out of your massage, and this you must discuss with your therapist. Your choices will range from soft, intermediate, to robust, right up to focused targeted work that aims to address injury, pain and discomfort.
How does massage help to relieve pain?
Massage helps to relieve pain in several ways. First of all, it is warming to the body and so opens up the capillaries and allows the blood to flow more freely into restricted areas, like the distal parts of the body; hands, feet, fingers, toes. Blood to cell exchanges occur more readily because the increase in blood flow carries more oxygen to where its needed most; to the joints the muscles and the skin. Nutrient and waste exchange at a cellular level is also elevated for many hours after your massage is finished. All of these effects are increased for long after you leave here.
Massage triggers the brain to release endorphins into the blood stream which are natures own painkillers. More effective delivery is achieved by the increase in blood flow around the body. Oxytocin can be released by various types of sensory stimulation, for example by touch and warmth. Bloodstream levels of oxytocin have been shown to rise during massage which can lead to a reduction in inflammation, and a corresponding increase in the speed of wound healing. Oxytocin also evokes feelings of contentment, reductions in anxiety, and feelings of calmness and security, all of which goes some way toward triggering the "relaxation response".
Many studies have found that massage can even work better than common treatments, including chiropractic therapy and acupuncture. It's not clear why, but several studies show massage reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol while boosting the feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine. Here again the relaxation response kicks in (or sidles in) to slow your heart rate, reduce your blood pressure, and block your nervous system's pain receptors.
Who can argue with that?
What modalities will you bring to my assistance at The Haven?
Good question, because this will depend on the amount of training in different types of bodywork that your therapist has qualilfied in. Here at The Haven Healing Centre, you can expect to have one type lone if you prefer, or a combination of techniques to best suit your desired outcome. Thus your treatment can be drawn from one or more of the following:
Gentle aromatherapy strokes, Swedish massage, sports massage, deep tissue massage, Neuromuscular therapy (trigger point therapy), bio-stress release, Myofascial release, light touch therapy, all combining to produce a light, to moderate, to deep massage, aimed at promoting relaxation, increasing circulation, and promoting feelings of peace and well-being, and healing.
What are the long term benefits of massage?
Many people are initially reluctant because it can seem expensive to have a massage for an hour, compared to a capo at the local Starbucks. What this thinking fails to take into consideration is that the physical effects of a good, targeted massage can last for several days. The general feelings of wellbeing can last for much longer, and the memory can last a lifetime. So when you look at it like that, your £40-60 massage can, over time, work out at pennies per hour.
You know, the best time I have is when someone comes back and says; the pain they've had for ages (months, even years), is gone. The headaches they've been suffering with for months are no more, and that the tiredness, exhaustion even, have been replaced with massive amounts of energy and the desire to live life to the full. I know almost anyone can benefit in some way from a massage, but it's taking the plunge and making the appointment that is the real convincer.
Don't ever think things have got too bad and there's no hope. If you believe that, then you're right. There is always something you can do to make the situation better, and this is how you make long-term sustainable progress, one step at a time. Believe you can do it, and you can!
The one thing to bear in mind about pain, is, it's there to tell you something is wrong. You need to understand something needs to be done to change things, because pain is the signal that there is damage; misalignment, adhesions, abnormal contraction, inflammation, tightness, atrophy, tenderness, compression or entrapment.
Quite a list! But you know what? If you correct any or all of these things, the pain will go away. But what do we do instead? We throw tablets at it to mask the pain. Or at least that's what the majority of people do. Unfortunately, pain killers are no good at repairing the source of the problem. Instead, as manufacturers fall over themselves to create faster and stronger acting painkillers to capture the market, our meds are stripping out stomach linings and causing drowsiness problems of their own.
Lets get one thing straight. Pain is the cure!
Pain was designed in nature to tell you to change something. Either don't do what caused the damage in the first place, to rest, or to treat. Soft tissue damage responds marvellously to manual manipulation in the form of massage. There is a growing body of evidence to show that massage therapy can be an effective part of pain relief and pain management.
A good massage therapist can make you feel like a new person. What's stopping you giving this a try?
Massage doesn't have to be a luxury, though it is true, it should be luxurious. It is an investment in your short and long term health and wellbeing. More and more people are now discovering the health benefits of massage, which increases our quality of life immensely. Stress is now known to be one of the main contributors toward disease and illness in the body, yet massage can significantly counteract the effects stress has on the body, which makes it an ideal preventer of disease. If this idea resonates with you, I invite you to visit The Haven Healing Centre in Blagdon for a massage session. Appointments and a treatment price list are available by clicking here. I look forward to welcoming you soon. Phil.
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Note: DISCLAIMER: This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.
It's a small investment in yourself, but could be a life-changing experience you will cherish forever.
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